Grimaldi’s Pizzeria – Las Vegas
Several years ago, my husband and I took a trip to New York City together. I had been to New York a number of times in the past, but my husband had never been before. Since I felt like I kind of knew the lay of the land, I wanted to make sure that I tried to show my husband everything that New York had to offer, including its incredible food offerings. Of course, New York is very well-known for its pizza, thin-crust, New York-style pizza is legendary. And in New York, there are 2 places that come to mind when thinking about pizza, Lombardi’s and Grimaldi’s. Lombardi’s is a place I had been to a couple of times, but when I visited New York with my husband, I had never been to Grimaldi’s before, so we decided to give it a try. Grimaldi’s calls itself the restaurant that made the Brooklyn Bridge famous. Located directly underneath the Brooklyn Bridge, in a small, closet-like store, the restaurant always has a line outside of eager guests waiting to get their hands on some of that famous pizza. How good could the pizza actually be? My husband and I had to give it a try. We took a subway train from Manhattan over to Brooklyn and walked over to the Brooklyn Bridge. Luckily, we were in New York in the middle of January where it wasn’t more than 30-40 degrees outside, so we only ended up waiting in line outside the restaurant for about 20 minutes. Inside, the tables are crammed together, and pizza is served whole, not by the slice. After having ordered, and had the pie brought to our tiny table, one bite and we knew this was some of the best pizza we’d ever had. It was amazing, delicious, well done, and hit the spot. We’ve been talking about Grimaldi’s ever since. Fast forward a few years, and in July, when my husband and I were in Las Vegas, we happened to walk over to the shopping promenade at the hotel next to ours, the Palazzo, and what did we spot? A Grimaldi’s! Are you kidding me? It couldn’t be the same place. But sure enough it was. We didn’t have time to try it on that trip to Vegas, but we knew that the next time we were in Las Vegas, we’d have to give Grimaldi’s a try.
So, in November, during another weekend trip to Vegas, my husband and I made it a point to put a trip to Grimaldi’s into our schedule. We were so excited, we could hardly wait. There’s a reason that the Zagat guide consistently rates Grimaldi’s as the best pizza ever. In recent years, Grimaldi’s has expanded beyond New York to include locations in Texas, Nevada and Arizona among others. One of Grimaldi’s defining features is their coal-brick oven, which they say heats to 1200 degrees Fahrenheit and produces the thin, crispy crust on the pizza. They built the same coal-brick oven as they have in their Brooklyn restaurant here in Las Vegas. And just like the Brooklyn location, Grimaldi’s in Las Vegas brings in anthracite coal directly from Pennsylvania. This coal is eco-friendly and burns cleaner than gas or wood-fired pizza ovens.
Many people believe that it’s the water in Brooklyn that makes Grimaldi’s pizza distinctive. So, when Grimaldi’s decided to expand beyond New York, they hired a chemist to analyze the chemical composition of the water they use at the restaurant in Brooklyn. Once they knew the chemical makeup of the Brooklyn water, they were able to create water, with the same exact chemical makeup for making the dough in their Las Vegas restaurant. Now, the Grimaldi’s in Las Vegas uses the same exact water as that used in their Brooklyn restaurant. Using the water to make fresh dough daily, along with fresh mozzarella and fresh, crushed San Marzano tomatoes, Grimaldi’s continues to deliver the best pizza in the world from their Las Vegas location.
Another trait of every Grimaldi’s is that they do not sell pizza by the slice, you need to buy the whole pie. But, the pizza pies do come in three sizes: personal, small, and large. The pizza can be made in one of three ways: regular with tomatoes and cheese, white with garlic or with pesto. A selection of toppings can be added to any pizza. The restaurant also offers a limited selection of salads and antipasto. And if you didn’t want a pizza, you could order a calzone.
We started off our meal at Grimaldi’s by ordering a Caesar salad to share. The salad was crisp and tasty. The dressing tasted home-made, with more of a lemon tang, than a thick rich Caesar dressing, which I liked. The dressing didn’t weight down the lettuce. The croutons were crisp and the cheese salty good. A great start to the meal.
My husband and I each decided to order different pizzas so we could try a couple of different flavors. The pizza I chose was a pesto pizza topped with grilled chicken. My husband isn’t the biggest fan of pesto, especially on pizza, because he believes that the pesto overpowers the pizza and the other flavors on the pizza. But this pizza came out soooooo good. The crust was thin and crispy as advertised. And the mozzarella was fresh and melted it was perfect and slightly burnt by the coal-brick oven. The pesto flavor was light and refreshing without being overpowering. Also, they did a great job of putting just the right amount of pesto on the pizza without overpowering it. Even my husband thought so. I was surprised that he didn’t just try my pizza, but had two slices of it. To me, that means he really liked it!
For his choice, my husband ordered a traditional Margherita pizza. Red sauce, cheese, tomatoes and fresh basil, you can’t ask for anything else. It was brought out to the table bubbly and hot. My husband took his first slice, had a bite, and immediately exclaimed, “Wow! This is the best pizza I’ve ever had!” He loved that pizza. Like my pizza, the crust was thin and perfectly crispy. The ingredients for the toppings was fresh, and the fresh basil was sweet. The pizza was perfect, absolutely perfect! My husband said this was exactly what he was looking for when we came to Grimaldi’s.
We couldn’t very well leave the restaurant without having some desserts. Of course, in an effort to try as much as possible, we each ended up ordering a different dessert. As per usual at Italian restaurants, my husband ordered the cannoli. The shell was crunchy and fresh-made. The creamy filling was perfectly flavored without being too sweet, which means they used the right combination of ricotta cheese, heavy whipping cream and powdered sugar. Once filled inside the cannoli shell, chocolate chips were sprinkled over the dessert and then it was dusted with powered sugar. I had one bite of the cannoli and before I knew it, my husband and finished off every last bit of cannoli! He really liked it!
What did I order for dessert? The dessert I order at seemingly every Italian restaurant, tiramisu! Grimaldi’s tiramisu was really good. It had the right amount of creamy marscapone and just the right amount of cocoa powder dusted on top. I’ve found that sometimes with tiramisu it has a bit of a bitter taste from too much cocoa powder and chocolate shavings. I could also taste the espresso-soaked lady fingers, which is a good thing. The strong espresso flavor mixed with the creamy marscapone made for a delectable tiramisu. I would certainly order Grimaldi’s tiramisu again.
My husband and I walked out of the restaurant stuffed, but happy. We would certainly eat at Grimaldi’s again. In fact, we’re already looking forward to the next time we can have Grimaldi’s pizza again. The pizza really is second to none. You may have had good pizza before, but I’m not sure you’ve had pizza as good as Grimaldi’s before. It really is that good. I can’t wait to go back, I want some now…..